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Dark Blue World (2001)

Tmavomodrý svet (original title)
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The friendship of two men becomes tested when they both fall for the same woman.

Director:

Jan Sverák

Writers:

Zdenek Sverák (story), Zdenek Sverák (screenplay)
8 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ondrej Vetchý ... Frantisek Sláma
Krystof Hádek ... Karel Vojtisek
Tara Fitzgerald ... Susan Whitmore
Charles Dance ... Wing Commander Bentley
Oldrich Kaiser ... Jan Machatý
David Novotný ... Bedrich Mrtvý
Linda Rybová ... Hanicka Pecharova
Jaromír Dulava ... Railwayman Kanka
Lukás Kantor Lukás Kantor ... Tom Tom
Radim Fiala ... Jura Sysel
Juraj Bernáth Juraj Bernáth ... Jan Gregora
Miroslav Táborský ... Vilha Houf
Hans-Jörg Assmann ... Doctor Blaschke
Thure Riefenstein ... German Officer Hesse
Anna Massey ... English Teacher
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Storyline

March 15, 1939: Germany invades Czechoslovakia. Czech and Slovak pilots flee to England, joining the RAF. After the war, back home, they are put in labor camps, suspected of anti-Communist ideas. This film cuts between a post-war camp where Franta is a prisoner and England during the war, where Franta is like a big brother to Karel, a very young pilot. On maneuvers, Karel crash lands by the rural home of Susan, an English woman whose husband is MIA. She spends one night with Karel, and he thinks he's found the love of his life. It's complicated by Susan's attraction to Franta. How will the three handle innocence, Eros, friendship, and the heat of battle? When war ends, what then? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

War | Drama | Action | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

Czech | German | English | Slovak

Release Date:

17 May 2001 (Czech Republic) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark Blue World See more »

Filming Locations:

Czech Republic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,541, 30 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$258,215, 2 June 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's closing epilogue states: "By the year 1951 all the Czechoslovak RAF airmen were released from the labor camps. But they remained outcasts for most of their lives. It was only in 1991 that the survivors were rehabilitated and recognized for their wartime service." See more »

Goofs

A significant number of the Spitfires shown are later marks than would have been used in 1940, as is evidenced by their larger (and subtly differently shaped) vertical stabilizers and two underwing radiators. (Mark I and Mark II Spitfires would have had only one underwing radiator under the starboard wing, supplemented by a much smaller oil cooler under the port wing.) Also, the scenes in which Me109's appear show aircraft with unusually large chin cowling, indicating that they were probably made in Spain under license after the war (and equipped with something other than the period-correct Daimler-Benz engine that an Me109 would have had in 1940). See more »

Quotes

[after a failed operation]
Franti?ek Sláma: We lost one plane.
[a Spitfire explodes on the airport in the background]
Commander Bentley: Two planes.
Franti?ek Sláma: We were ambushed by Messerschmitts.
Commander Bentley: Caught you by surprise, didn't they. This is an air war, Sir! What did you expect to find there, flies?
See more »

Connections

Edited from Memphis Belle (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Pochod karnevalu umelecké besedy
by Jaroslav Jezek
Performed by Dvorakuv komorní orchestr
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The film is a gem
21 October 2005 | by norton-25See all my reviews

Centres on Czech WW2 pilots – the older Frantisek, the boyish impulsive Karel and in the background the quiet piano-playing Honza. As the film opens, it is 1950, the war is over and Frantisek and Honza are imprisoned in a former monastery. In their now Soviet-controlled native country they are 'enemy of the people'. Honza is severely maltreated by his Communist countrymen and dies.

In 1939 many pilots manage to escape German-occupied Europe and make their way to England where they join the RAF. Notwithstanding their high motivation and experience they face RAF reluctance and British stiff upper lip. Finally they fight gallantly in the Battle of Britain. However, Frantisek and Karel find their friendship severely tested when they both fall for the same woman.

In terms of romantic sub-plot, this is very similar to the Hollywood production Pearl Harbour. However, given the context of the film and Frantisek's eventual fate, it is also possible to read the English woman's treatment of the two men as symbolic of British treatment of the Czech and Polish RAF pilots: conveniently forgetting them once the war is over.

In addition, the film is a lot less cliché than Pearl Harbour and the characters are more fully realised. Dark Blue World also scores in terms of its stunning aerial dogfights, which were seamlessly created using a mixture of models, actual live-action aerial filming and out-takes from the 1969 epic The Battle of Britain.

In short, Dark Blue World is a well-made, moving, thought-provoking and exciting drama that puts the likes of Pearl Harbour to shame. Highly recommended.


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